Nearly 150,000 online bets were placed on Thursday night’s presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden – the last time the two candidates faced off head-to-head before Nov. 3.
Online sportsbook DraftKings said that 62,791 bets were placed on the debate – on things such as what questions that would be asked, phrases either candidate used, or which topics would be brought up. FanDuel meanwhile said that over 85,000 bets were placed.
And with the threat of a microphone mute constantly hanging overhead, the debate between the two was notably tamer, albeit a few punches the two threw at each other.
Questions still loom though on if the mute button was ever employed during the 90-minute, testy exchange.
Patrons were allowed to bet on whether phrases like “Sleepy Joe” or Biden’s hometown of “Scranton” came up – both of which did during the debate. They bet on which candidate spoke while walking onto the stage, though none of them did.
And they could bet on the first topic: a question asked to Trump on how the COVID-19 pandemic would play out over the next few months.
FanDuel, which runs the sportsbook for the Meadowlands Racetrack, has a $20,000 pot of money, of which a sizable chunk will be split among 19 first-place winners.
DraftKings, which runs the online sportsbook for Resorts Casino Hotel, offered a $50,000 pool of cash prize money to winning contestants.
Five people got a perfect score on all the bets, and each won $460. Another 116 people won $32, while 1,033 people won $18, 4,783 patrons won $4.50 and over 12,000 people won 30 cents.
Going into the elections, DraftKings has a $100,000 prize pool, and over 326,000 patrons have bet on which candidate they think will clinch the presidential seat. FanDuel is offering the same product as well.
While actually betting money on the outcome of the election is outlawed, DraftKings Head of Sportsbook Johnny Avello noted that patrons can still place free bets and win cash prizes in return.
Both sportsbooks have expanded beyond just wagers on sports, accepting bets on a variety of pop culture events, like the Oscars this past February.